After beating King’s Lynn on Friday another mechanical plagued meeting saw them lose at Swindon. The Swindon match took on a similar form to that at Poole when points were dropped when in good positions. These problems need to be sorted out quickly if they are to live up to the pre-season forecasts and reach the play-offs.
Bees 47, King’s Lynn 43.
Both teams went into this meeting on the back of a Good Friday double reverse so it was vital for both to get some League points on the board. Bees were without Aaron Summers, who was replaced by Leigh Lanham while the visitors were without David Howe who has been in good form so far this season.
Lanham made the start in the opening heat but Niels Kristian Iversen had taken the lead by the end of the first lap. Chris Harris passed Daniel Nermark to take third place and share the heat points.
Adam Roynon won heat two but Henning Bager, who has ridden well so far this season, could make no impact on the visiting pair so the teams stayed level.
Bees made the breakthrough in heat three. Edward Kennett led from the start but Kenni Larsen found his way blocked coming out of turn two. This did not deter him and he had passed both riders by the end of the first lap to clock up a welcome 5-1 and go into a four-point lead.
Bees increased their lead in a two-in-one heat four. Scott Nicholls held off Maciej Janowski while Bager kept out a forceful Dakota North.
Heat five took a similar pattern to that of the previous but this time it was King’s Lynn who registered the 4-2 which brought them back to within four points.
Harris turned in what was the ride of the season so far. After once again missing the gate Bees looked to be on the wrong end of a maximum heat win. Harris had other ideas. Firstly he had to get by Kevin Wolbert, which he did on lap two and then set off on the almost impossible task of catching Janowski who was seemingly disappearing into the distance. He gradually reeled him in and when it appeared to be too late he found a final burst of speed to pass his man on the run-in to the finish.
Nicholls won heat seven but Roynon finished at the back after getting some harsh treatment from Jordan Frampton.
Nermark and North took an easy 5-1 in heat eight to bring the scores level.
Bees went ahead again in heat nine. Larsen used the outside line to good advantage in a tight first turn while Kennett took a couple of laps to shake off Janowski before following his partner home.
Heat ten saw another typical ‘Bomber’ ride. Once again missing the start he took the outside line to get in position and then squeezed between Mads Korneliussen and the fence to take the lead at the end of lap one.
Iversen and Nermark combined well to keep out Nicholls in heat eleven for a maximum which brought the scores back level.
The visitors made the start to heat twelve and although Larsen managed to take second, Bees were behind for the first time.
Heat thirteen became vital and Harris and Nicholls led into the turn. Iversen briefly took second on the back straight but Bees soon regained control and went on to take maximum points and go back into the lead.
Larsen was an easy winner of heat fourteen but it was an eventful ride for Roynon. He led into the first turn before a mistake put him back a place. He then reared on the back straight before finally falling on turn three.
With Bees now two ahead the final race would decide the destination of the points. Iversen gated but Nicholls was ahead coming out of turn two. Harris almost got into second but Iversen recovered and after a good battle took the two points. The final result meant Bees had two points on the board with the visitors taking a consolation point for keeping the deficit to under six points.
The Bees top four were back to form but on this occasion it was the lower end that were somewhat lacking. Summers was definitely missed as he would surely have contributed more than the two that came from Lanham. For once the two reserves were outscored by their opposite numbers by paid twelve to four.
Bee’s scorers; Nicholls 13, Harris 11(1), Kennett 10(1), Larsen 7(1), Roynon 3, Lanham 2(1), Bager 1.
Swindon 54, Bees 39.
With former Bees manager Alun Rossiter now back at his home town Swindon this was always going to be an exciting match. Despite the match being on TV concessional admission prices ensured that there was a good crowd on a bitterly cold night.
Bees welcomed Aaron Summers back and he fired the opening shots by leading into turn two. Harris followed him and attempted to shield him from the challenging Troy Batchelor. They appeared to have it sewn up but a last bend burst saw Batchelor and Harris cross the line together. Replays indicated a dead heat but the decision was given to the home man.
Roynon made the start to heat two but the in-form Peter Kildemand was soon into the lead. A first turn mistake put Bager out of the equation and the Robins took an early lead.
Swindon went further ahead in heat three. Jason Doyle made the start and struggled coming out of turn two. Both Bees attempted to pass and in the confusion Simon Stead saw his chance and slipped by to take the lead. Kennett fell on turn four leaving Larsen to take second place.
Hans Andersen and Kildemand made no mistake in heat four and Bees were already eight in arrears.
Harris made the start to heat five but a turn two mistake let in Stead. Harris recovered to take the race but no advantage was gained as Summers trailed at the back.
Swindon made the start to heat six but Nicholls after picking up grip brushed Batchelor aside to take second. Roynon took his chance to pass an ailing Batchelor while Nicholls took the lead on the third lap to give Bees their first heat advantage of the night.
Andersen won a shared heat seven before a three-times started heat eight ended up even. Summers touched the tapes and received a fifteen metre handicap. Swindon looked set for a 5-1 in the rerun but Kildemand fell at the start of the second lap when under no pressure. At the third attempt Bager briefly led before losing out to Nick Morris.
The next two heats were Bees undoing. Nicholls missed the gate in heat nine but worked his way through the field only to shed a chain on the last lap and gift the home side a 5-1.
Bees were now ten behind and Kennett was given a tactical ride. He did not disappoint leading all the way. An 8-1 looked a distinct possibility until Larsen pulled out with machine problems at the end of the second lap.
Heat eleven was shared before Larsen rode well to take second from Stead in heat twelve.
It was now just a battle for the extra league point. Andersen led the way in heat thirteen but a battle between the other three saw Harris just hold off Batchelor for second.
Bees needed an advantage from heat fourteen if they were to leave with anything. Kennett was an easy winner but at the back Roynon made a desperate attempt to split the home pair and was fortunate to avoid a nasty accident when almost clipping the back wheel of Robin Aspegren.
There was controversy in heat fifteen when Andersen clearly touched the tapes but was allowed to restart without penalty. He led again to complete his maximum but once again a good race was going on behind him. Harris was always in the mix but had to give second best to Stead after twice finding problems on the fourth bend.
As with the last away match at Poole Bees were hampered by machine problems and falls. Had these not have occurred they may well have come away from Blunsden with at least a point.
Bee’s scorers; Kennett 10(1), Harris 9(1), Larsen 6, Summers 4(2), Nicholls, Roynon 4, Bager 2.
Bees have a quick chance to make amends for Monday’s defeat when Swindon are the visitors to Brandon tomorrow night. With Alun Rossiter back in town some good racing is in prospect as most of the visitors have worn the black and gold in the past few seasons.
The meeting starts at the usual time of 8.00 p.m.